Name Change

This page contains special requirements for the varying types of name changes.

These documents are required in addition to other requirements for your specific passport service.

Department of State regulations determine the manner in which names are entered in United States passports. The following information covers the majority of cases that arise. If a particular case does not fall within these guidelines, the Consulate will consult with the Department of State.

Most applications for a change of name must be accompanied by at least three pieces of acceptable identification showing use of the new name. In some cases, these records must cover a certain time period. Please carefully read the instructions for your specific name change. Acceptable pieces of identification may include:

  • School Records
  • Tax Records
  • Military Records
  • Medical Card/Records
  • Driver’s License
  • Federal/State/Local Government Card
  • Deeds to Property
  • Insurance Records
  • Foreign Passport

At least one of the following:

  • Employment Records
  • Bank Books
  • Credit Cards
  • Utility or Phone Bills

An applicant whose maiden or previous surname is restored after a divorce may have the passport written in that surname provided he/she submits the divorce decree or court order so specifying (original or certified copy).

A married, divorced, or widowed applicant who uses a maiden or previous married surname exclusively may have the passport written in that surname provided he/she submits:

  • Three pieces of acceptable identification as listed above;
  • Death or Divorce Certificate;
  • Evidence of claim to the former name: i.e. marriage certificate, birth certificate, or expired U.S. passport in that name; and
  • If using a previous married surname, the applicant will be required to complete a statement which includes the spouse’s name, date and place of birth, date of marriage, and reason for termination (i.e. divorce, death).

An applicant may have his/her maiden or previous married surname included in his/her passport as a “known as” name provided he/she submits:

  • Three pieces of acceptable identification as listed above; and
  • Evidence of claim to the former name: i.e. marriage certificate, birth certificate, or expired U.S. passport in that name.

An applicant who has assumed a name for professional or religious reasons, while retaining the use of the legal name, may have the professional or religious name included in the passport as a “known as” name provided that he/she submits:

  • Three pieces of acceptable identification as listed above.

A minor who has been using the surname of his/her stepfather may have this name reflected on the passport provided that he/she submits:

  • Three pieces of acceptable identification as listed above showing exclusive use of the new name for at least five years. If the child has use the name for less than five years, the name may be included as a “known as” name.

When the whereabouts of the natural parents are unknown or the natural parents are deceased, and the child has assumed the guardian’s surname, the passport may be issued in that surname provided he/she submits:

  • Three pieces of acceptable identification as listed above showing exclusive use of the new name for at least five years. If the child has used the name for less than five years, the name may be included as a “known as” name;
  • Evidence of legal guardianship (such as the original or certified copy of a court order); and
  • In the case of the death of the natural parent(s) the death certificate(s) must also be provided

If a minor has assumed the birth surname of a parent following divorce, the passport may be written in that surname provided he/she submits:

  • Three pieces of acceptable identification as listed above showing exclusive use of the new name for at least five years. If the child has used the name for less than five years, the name may be included as a “known as” name; and
  • The original divorce decree.

An applicant who has had his/her name legally changed by U.S. Court Order, and who submits the original or certified copy of the order or decree, may have a passport issued in the new name as reflected in the order or decree.

A child who has been legally adopted and has a court order showing a change of name may have a passport issued in the new name provided the original court order shows the previous and present names.

Applicants requesting the a change of name where the name has not been legally changed by court order may have a passport written in the assumed name providing they have been known exclusively by this name for at least five years. The applicant must submit:

  • Three pieces of acceptable identification as listed above showing exclusive use of the new name for at least five years; and
  • The applicant must be accompanied to this office by two or more persons who have personal knowledge of the applicant’s use of both names, and who can attest to the applicant’s exclusive use of the assumed name for at least five years. These witnesses may be relatives, close friends, or business associates. The witnesses will need to produce some form of legal (photo) identification, preferably their own passports.